Washington: US President Joe Biden plans to discuss the Ukraine crisis with G7 leaders during a virtual meeting on Thursday, the White House informs.
"The President will participate in a virtual G7 Leaders' meeting to discuss the ongoing situation with regard to Russia and Ukraine, and priorities of the German G7 Presidency year," the White House schedule for February 24 says. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will attend the virtual G7 summit, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a Monday press conference, adding that the talks will cover foreign policy issues, including Ukraine, and Japan expects that G7 countries will make their important contributions to the discussion.
The German government announced this past Friday that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was going to hold a virtual meeting of G7 leaders on February 24, to prepare for the G7 summit, which will be held on June 26-28 in Bavaria.
The G7 foreign ministers said on Saturday that the G7 Group is ready for dialogue with Russia on European security, trust-building and arms control. The G7 also called on Russia to use its influence on the self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine's southeast (Donbas) to urge them to de-escalate.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) announced the evacuation of their citizens to Russia's Rostov Region on Friday amid fears of an attack by Kiev forces. DPR head Denis Pushilin said on Friday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would soon order an offensive against Donbas. DPR and LPR have been reporting on constant shelling of their territories by Kiev forces.
Russia has pointed out that Western claims of a looming "invasion" of Ukraine appear to be used as a pretext for advancing NATO's military presence further eastward in Europe. Russia published its security suggestions for NATO and the United States in late 2021 as tensions rose around Ukraine. Moscow specifically requested guarantees that the alliance would not expand eastward to include Ukraine and Georgia, to which Washington has replied by insisting it will not allow anyone to slam NATO's open-door policy shut.
The US and NATO have since submitted their responses to the proposals but asked Moscow to keep them confidential. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the West has ignored Russia's fundamental concerns and demands, including over the alliance's expansion. Russia delivered its written response to US Ambassador in Moscow John Sullivan this past Thursday.